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Dutchman Wood Repair 

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Dutchman Wood Repair 

Written By: Craig Cochrane 


Block sander (1) 

Chop saw (1) 

Clamp (1) 

or blue masking tape 

Pencil (1) 

Router (1) 

Steel square (1) 

Table saw (1) 

Tape measure (1) 

Utility knife (1) 

Wood chisel (1) 

Wood glue (1) 




to be used for patch 


A Dutchman is a wood patch or filler which replaces a damaged or missing area of any wood 
object. The procedure involves removing a symmetrical, squared area around the defect and 
replacing it with new wood. It is best to use wood of the same species, grain pattern and 
color as the original. An ideal Dutchman repair would use a piece of the damaged board for 

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Dutchman Wood Repair 
the patch. 

Since sharp woodworking tools are involved, use extreme caution and care. A Dutchman 
repair is best made by an experienced woodworker. 

Step 1 — Mark off area 

# Mark the damaged area to be removed with a sharp pencil and square. 

Step 2 — Score 

Score the pencil lines 1/16" - 1/8" 
deep with utility knife and square. 

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Dutchman Wood Repair 

Step 3 — Remove the wood 

• Remove the wood within the knife cuts with a sharp chisel or a combination of router and 
chisel to the desired depth. 

• Usually W - 3/8" is sufficient ... the thinner the patch, the easier it might someday be 
accidentally loosened and pried out. 

Step 4 — Create the Dutchman 

• Cut the Dutchman with a chop saw or table saw rip to depth and chop saw cut to length. 

• This can be done with just a utility knife and steel square cut to depth and a chisel down 
the end grain to remove the piece. The repair piece should be 1/16" - 1/8" thicker than the 
depth of the repair. 

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Dutchman Wood Repair 

Step 5 — Fit it 

• Ease the bottom edges and corners of the Dutchman with a few swipes on the sanding 
block and test fit. 

• If it is slightly too wide or long, make adjustments with the utility knife and sanding block. If 
it is too small, make another one. 

Step 6 — Glue it in place 

• When the patch piece is a nice tight fit, put a fairly generous amount of wood glue in the 
bottom of the hole and press it in place. 

• Tightly run a piece of blue (easy to remove) masking tape over the Dutchman or use a 
clamp to secure it in place. 

• If you clamp against the finished piece, be sure to use a caul (scrap of wood) between the 
clamp and piece to protect it. Allow to dry overnight. 

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Dutchman Wood Repair 

Step 7 — Make it flush with the original surface 

• Carefully chisel and sand the Dutchman to flush with the original piece surface. 

Step 8 — Re-finish 

Re-finish the repair area to match. 

This document was last generated on 201 2-1 1 -02 08:24:27 PM. 

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